A Work Of Fiction By Lawless
Tall dry grass rubbed his face as the breeze sent it swaying. The huge clouds overhead with their dark blue bellies were promising rain before this day was done. His mind was a swirling mass of memories and thoughts. Worry, excitement, resolve and everything in between caused his pulse to race. Controlling his breathing was helping to keep him focused on the task ahead. The lack of sun was a blessing he thought. Even though the mornings had been cool for a few weeks, the daytime temps still climbed into the high eighties. He watched as a trio of doves flew overhead, and he remembered the lessons his dad had given him on shooting fast moving birds. They had gone on many hunts together, though it all seemed like a dream now.
Life can change in a heartbeat and the last 11 months had been a roller coaster ride. Less than a year ago, Jack McCain had been a supervisor for a manufacturing plant in a small town in central North Carolina. He owned a home, had a girlfriend and made almost 6 figures before taxes. Life was good and it seemed it would only get better. Sunday lunch at his folks’ and Friday night bowling were about as exciting as life got for Jack and small town living suited him just fine. He had known everyone in the town he grew up in. His dad was well known and was very active in the local government. Back when Jack was a teen his dad had been the mayor for 4 years but once that term was up, he did not run for re-election. “One term should be enough for any man to offer his contribution to making this country better Jack” his dad had said. Many men from the area had asked him to run again, but there was no budging Samuel McCain once he had made a decision.
Jack had always loved the outdoors and being in the field with his dad was something he cherished. Camping, fishing and hunting were all a large part of growing up in the McCain household. Growing up shooting had been normal back in those days, people didn't lose their minds at the sight of a pistol or long gun. In high school it was a pretty normal sight to see a rifle or shotgun in the back window of a truck in the student parking lot. Jack remembered letting his math teacher, Mr. Duncan, hold his new Ruger Gold Label when he had bought it with money earned bagging groceries at the Red and White. Mr. Duncan had told him what a fine shotgun it was and offered to take Jack over to his farm to get a few ducks. Those days seemed so long ago and in today's America there was no room for the Mr. Duncans of the world.
Movement across the open field caught his attention. The glint of metal in the passing sunshine and the sound of a band were reaching his senses and caused him to snap to attention. The queasiness came flooding back, but he knew this choice was already made. There was nothing to do now but to see this through. He watched the flags moving lazily in the slight breeze and the movements of the men seated on the stage. Sweat began to form on his forehead despite the chill that seemed to have gripped him. In minutes there will be no going back. He looked at his notepad and verified the numbers one last time and then put it in his back pocket. This would be an easy shot compared to some of those he had made during his training over the last few months. He tuned out the buzz of insects and the dust from the grass and focused on his breathing and the view in the scope. A drop of sweat trickled from his cheek and onto his lips. It was salty and reminded him of how dry his mouth had become over the last few minutes. This was no training exercise, this was for real.
He could see that the crowd had filled the courtyard and spilled out onto the street. The intel he had been given showed that his target was the next to take the stage, he began to make himself ready. He got into a sitting position above the grass and extended the legs of the Harris until he could see the paint marks he had placed on them. This Remington 700 had been his constant companion over the past two months and it seemed like an extension of his body. He settled in behind the rifle and again started to control his breathing and focus his mind.
He was glad for the weeks of training he had been given, shooting from positions just like this had been a priority. Hits at over 1000 yards were almost easy now if he did his part. The big 300 was a master at bucking the wind and with it behind him today the effect on bullet flight would be minimal. “Steady Jack” he whispered to himself. He now could see the target walking toward the podium from the rear of the stage. His hand was in the air and he had a huge smile on his face. The knots in Jack’s stomach tightened as he flipped the safety to off. The target stood beside the glass podium waving to the crowd and then pointed his finger and nodded to someone in the throng, likely some big donor to his campaign.
The trigger broke almost imperceptibly. The heavy rifle bucked and he instantly was moving the bolt for a second shot. When he reacquired the podium in the big Nightforce, he saw that no second shot was needed. He hoped the news crews got good film of it all, but there was no time for wondering about anything else, this was go time. He picked up his empty casing and shoved it into his pocket, then stood up in a crouch and shuffled over the rise and into the woods. Once he was in the trees he ran hard and the rifle felt as light as a broomstick with the adrenaline coursing in his body. He reached the truck quickly, and stripped his suit and tossed it and the rifle in the tool box between the cab and the spreader. He jumped into the front seat and the big diesel came to life with a twist of the key. He silently wondered if the fertilizer spreader would seem inconspicuous enough, but no time for second thoughts now. He pulled the John Deere cap onto his head and started down the road.
United States House of Representatives Domestic Affairs Committee chair Will Jones, the author of the Small Arms Registration and Licensing Act, was dead. The first reprisal in this war, and it was war, had been dealt today by a group of Patriots who knew that these enemies of Liberty would not stop, but had to be stopped. Voting and petitioning were of no use now. The people who thought that they ruled with impunity would see today that choices had consequences. Jack turned onto the four lane and accelerated toward the coast. He reached down to turn on the radio and noticed his hand still trembled a little. “Last Dance With Mary Jane” came through the speakers as the son of Pastor Samuel McCain, drove east to meet his ride out of Virginia.